Dr. Gavin is group leader and senior scientist in the Structural and Computational Biology Unit at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Before moving to the EMBL in 2005, she was Director of the Molecular and Cell Biology division of the biotech company Cellzome Inc. Previously she spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department for Physiology, University of Basel, Switzerland and at the EMBL Heidelberg, Germany. She received her baccalaureate from the college Voltaire in Geneva, Switzerland, her M.S. and PhD in Biology/Biochemistry from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Gavin is an established scientist working on proteomics, biological networks and systems biology. Gavin's research programs integrate biochemical, mass spectrometry, structural and computational methods to characterize cellular networks and circuitry at molecular levels, both spatially and temporally. Her research aims at understanding how cellular components work collectively and achieve biological function.
Lipid metabolism attracts much attention owing to the pleiotropic roles of lipids and their implication in human pathologies, and this interest motivates growing efforts dedicated to cataloguing the lipidome. However, all aspects of lipid function rely on their heterogeneous distribution in living systems and the formation of molecular signatures that define organelle membranes or microdomains. Lipid metabolism – and its associated disorders – needs to be understood in the context of this functional, three-dimensional organization. An emerging player in these processes is a group of disease-associated proteins known as lipid-transfer proteins (LTPs). They spatially organize lipids and connect lipid metabolic pathways that are distributed across distinct organelles, but our knowledge of these transport mechanisms remains fragmented. I will present a number of new large-scale biochemical methods designed to systematically characterize the pathways of LTP-mediated lipid movements.